Building a Bench

As the school year comes to a close, it seems that in the grades things speed up.  In this last week of school the third grade had a field trip with the third grade from the Washington Waldorf School to Carderock State Park, spent a day building a bench to add to our playground seating, participated in field day, enjoyed the all school picnic, and finally the last day of school.  All the while, of course, we were also busily finishing up our Main Lesson Book work, cleaning our classroom, and packing our supplies to move into a new room for fourth grade next year.

While all of these activities were exciting, I particularly want to share with you the day we made the bench.  Part of the
third grade curriculum is leaning about construction.  With this knowledge, the third grade then undertakes a building project.  It must be something that they can complete, will give them the feeling of exhilaration that comes with wielding a hammer, and the sense of satisfaction that comes with creating something that is practical and will be useful to the school community.  I decided that we would construct a new bench, as one of the benches on the playground was in need of retirement.  Plans were found and a carpenter (Jim Martin, Jenna Martin’s husband) to lead the project, but the trouble was procuring wood.  At the end of the school year, funds were tight.  Wendy Cardany (our Bluebird Teacher) donated some lovely pieces of cedar, but not enough for a complete bench.  What were we to do?  It was then that I contacted the Community Forklift, a discount, recycled building materials warehouse (  They gave us a donation of $100 worth of building materials.

Mr. Martin, the third graders, and I set to work on Tuesday morning.  We had a great time building our new bench for the playground today.  Mr. Martin guided and assisted the children through the process.  He was a wonderful teacher who helped them to do as much of the work as was possible.  They measured, hammered nails, wrenched bolts, and sanded with sanding blocks and even an electric palm sander.  We had some extra wood so Mr. Martin designed a rustic balance beam so that nothing went to waste.  The weather cooperated for the most part and we only had to move inside for the last stretch.  Before it was time to break for lunch the bench was complete!

The bench is now on the playground and is large enough to hold six people!  It is a great improvement over the previous bench that was falling apart and only held three.

Thank you to Mr. Martin, Mrs. Cardany, and Community Forklift for making this project a great success!

Have a wonderful summer and when school resumes in the fall, come to the playground and sit on our new bench! ~ Ms. Mansuri

Recipes to share with your children

By April Meyerson, PCWS parent

Very Easy Bread Recipe

2 cups very warm water large spoonful of honey

1 T. yeast

Flour – about 5-6 cups (a mix of white and whole wheat)

1 t. salt

1. Put warm water into a large mixing bowl and stir in honey

2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water. Let it foam up.

3. Start adding flour and sprinkle in the salt. Children love to make it “snow” into the bowl.

4. When the dough is stiff and no longer sticky, cover it with a towel and let it rest for a little while (about 15 minutes).

5. Knead the dough and form dough into rolls.

6. Place rolls on an oiled baking sheet.

7. If you have the time, you can let the rise a little longer on the pan, covered.

8. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until light brown.

Recipe from The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book, Collected by Lisa Hildreth


Baked Apples

6 large baking apples

6 T. butter, softened

1⁄2 cup sugar (rapadura or similar, if possible) grated rind of 2 lemons juice of 2 lemons

1 t. ground ginger

1⁄2 t. ground cinnamon 1⁄4 t. ground cloves

1⁄4 t. ground cardamom

1⁄4. Cup currants or raisins

1. Core apples from stem side through the center (but not entirely through) and peel from top to about 1/3 the way down.

2. Combine butter and sugar

3. Stir in remaining ingredients and place of spoonful of stuffing in each apple.

4. Place in a buttered baking pan with a little water.

5. Bake about 2 hours at 325 degrees or until apples are tender.

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon

We would love to hear from our PCWS families of any recipes or crafts you enjoy doing with your children! Please comment here and let us know.  Or send to